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Congress President Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday, attacked the union government over its decision to end the validity of passports as holder’s address proof, calling it a “discriminatory mindset.”
Taking the BJP-led government head-on, the Congress President said that the move shows that the government was treating India’s migrant workers as second-class citizens, which is unacceptable. Gandhi said, “Treating India’s migrant workers like second-class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset.”
The reaction comes in the wake of a decision by the Ministry of External Affairs to not print the address of the holder on the last page of a passport, denoting that the travel document will no longer serve the additional purpose of a residential proof.
The decision was taken on the recommendations of a three-member panel, comprising officials from the MEA and the Women and Child Development Ministry. MEA in its statement said, “As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport.”
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, would be designing the new passport booklets in due course. Till such time the new passport booklets are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry by ISP, Nashik, the passports and other travel documents would continue to be printed with the last page.” Raveesh added that existing passports would continue to remain valid till the date of expiry printed in the passport booklet.
(with input from PTI)